Long-time Gosford resident Helen Murray volunteers with Vision Australia and Seeing Eye Dogs because she loves to give and receive smiles.
“I saw an advertisement in the local newspaper asking for volunteers for a walking group for people who are blind or have low vision. The walking group was held on the waterfront each Saturday morning and I thought, yes, I could do that,” Helen said.
Helen, who has now been volunteering with Vision Australia for more than four ears, enjoys supporting and guiding group members when needed and has formed rapport with everyone, staying on for coffee and a chat after each walk.
“It is lovely to help someone and put a smile on their face. It makes me happy too. We are really all helping each other; talking and listening and having fun.”
Over the years Helen’s role has grown. As well as administration, Helen assists the Collection Dog volunteers to empty and count donation money collected through the Seeing Eye Dogs donation boxes.
“I have even helped out with the craft group a few times, though I don’t think I am very good at craft,” she added.
Helen grew up in the family of volunteers and has always been ready to help. Although she is currently looking for paid work, Helen spreads her time volunteering not only for Vision Australia but also Girl Guides, Red Cross, Aunties and Uncles and the Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI).
“Through volunteering I have meet new people and learnt lots of new skills. I enjoy working and like to spend time with people I respect who are good fun. I have nothing to complain about,” she said.
Helen’s achievements, along with more than 4,000 Vision Australia volunteers will be recognised during a series of special Morning of Celebration events during National Volunteer Week in May.